116: ‘O Canada’ Performed for the First Time

On June 24, 1880, “O Canada” was performed for the first time.

Here are some things you may not have known about the Canadian national anthem.

First: The lyrics were originally written in French to celebrate Saint Jean-Baptiste Day. A version in English was written in 1906, with more-popular lyrics written in 1908. The current lyrics were adopted in 1980, when the song was officially named Canada’s national anthem.

Second: Several songs vied with “O Canada” for the right to be the national anthem. “Chant National” was frequently used by Francophones, while “God Save the Queen” and “The Maple Leaf Forever” were used by English speakers.

Third, as with the American “Star Spangled Banner, “O Canada” has several additional and rarely-sung verses.

Our question: What year did Canada become completely free of entanglements with the British Parliament?

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